Six Reasons Not to Visit Culebra

I know, I know ... this seems like an odd post for someone who is trying to promote tourism in Puerto Rico. But after I blogged about why you should visit Culebra Island, I realized that, to enjoy the island, you should know what you're getting into. And I have a feeling that even Culebrenses would nod approvingly at this list, because this island is unlike your typical Puerto Rican holiday experience.

Thus, for the uninitiated, here are six solid reasons not to go anywhere near Culebra while you're in Puerto Rico:

  1. To gamble: If you've heard about all the excellent casinos in Puerto Rico, don't come looking for them in Culebra; you won't find any. You're better off checking out one of these San Juan hotels
  2. To book an all-inclusive luxury resort: They tried to build a fancy, high-end resort hotel in Culebra, and the project failed. In fact, you can still see the unfinished hotel from the town of Dewey. This island simply doesn't have the infrastructure for a mega-resort. For that kind of hotel, check out a place like El Conquistador.
  1. To play a round of golf: This one should be fairly obvious for anyone who knows Culebra. It's way too small for a golf course. Here are a few better places to tee off.
  2. To go shopping: There are a smattering of shops in Dewey (mostly gift shops and places to buy curios and home decor items), but if you came here for the shopping experience, you'll hate it. And anyway, why come here when you can go to the largest mall in the Caribbean?
  3. For historic sightseeing: Simply put, there isn't any. The island of Culebrita has an old lighthouse that isn't open, and Culebra itself has an old building which may one day become a museum. But if it's history you want, Old San Juan is the place to be.
  1. For the raging nightlife: Considering that Dewey (the island's only town) is asleep by midnight, you can imagine what your clubbing opportunities are in Culebra. There are places to hang out, of course. Mamacita's is a fun place to be for dinner and drinks. But there are no fancy nightclubs, and DJs don't go out of their way to come here, unless they're trying to get away from the raging nightlife.

Don't get me wrong ... I didn't write this list because I don't like Culebra; on the contrary, I love this place for all the above reasons. What it lacks in fancy, glittering resorts and typically touristic amenities, it makes up for in sheer natural splendor, rustic charm and down-to-earth hospitality. Ask any Culebrense; I bet they'd agree with me.